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Hajj 2023: Date, significance and history of Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca

Hajj 2023: Date, significance and history of Muslims pilgrimage to Mecca

Mecca, June 27: Over 2 million Muslims will take part in this week's Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Every year, millions of people participate in the pilgrimage. 

The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims are required to undertake it at least once in their lives if they are physically and financially able to do so. It is one of the world's largest religious gatherings.

This year, the Hajj pilgrimage is taking place between June 26 to July 1, 2023: Here's a guide to the rituals each day

Day 1: Making a sincere intention and entering the ihram, a pilgrim's sacred state, when leaving Mecca's outer bounds, known as Miqat, are the initial steps in the Hajj ritual. Following that, the pilgrims travel for the 8 km (five miles) journey to Mina, a tent city near Mecca, either by walking or taking a bus.

Day 2: is the day of Arafat is on an important day of the Islamic calendar. Pilgrims spend a day at Mount Mercy in reverent prayer after making the 15km journey from Mina.

Day 3: Dhul-Hijjah is Eid al-Adha, the greater of the two Muslim festivals, is observed by Muslims worldwide. The pilgrims arrive back in Mina to perform the rami by throwing pebbles at the three columns known as Jamarat al-Aqaba. Which signifies the act of stoning devil as per historical tradition.

Day 4 and 5: The throwing of stones continues for the following two days, commencing with Jamarat al-Ula (the tiny pillar), moving on to Jamarat al-Wusta (the second/middle pillar), and concluding with Jamarat al-Aqaba (the third/large pillar) with seven pebbles apiece.

Day 6: On the 12th day of Dhul-Hijjah, after rami, the men either shave their heads (halq) or trip their hair (taqsir). Women can trim their hair by a length of a fingertip.

After that, the pilgrims may then take off their ihram clothing during the goodbye tawaf. The majority will then travel to Mecca to re-perform the tawaf and sai again.

Hajj 2023: This year's pilgrimage will be the first without the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer than 10,000 pilgrims performed the Hajj in 2020 and around 60,000 in 2021- all of them residents of Saudi Arabia since pilgrims were forbidden to come from abroad.

Last year, around 900,000 made the pilgrimage as Saudi Arabia allowed limited numbers of pilgrims from abroad.

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